Why family time is important

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According to Nielsen Co. the average parent spends 38.5 minutes per week in meaningful conversation with their children.

Can you imagine… I did the math, that is equal to a total of 33.3 hours a year!  Out of 8760 hours a year only 33 hours of meaningful conversation is being had between a parent and a child.

Considering that as parents we are our children’s biggest influences, that is a very scary statistic!  Because if we are not investing in our children’s lives…who is? There comes a time in their lives where who they are influenced by shifts from parents to peers. Which only makes sense if you have a child attending school outside of the home, the majority of their time will be spent with peers and other adults that are not you and who may or may not hold to the same standards you have worked hard to instill in your children.  This doesn’t necessarily let homeschoolers off the hook either. Although homeschooling parents have more control of the peer influences in their children’s lives, they can easily be deceived into thinking they are immune to such problems forgetting that our children are just as easily influenced through media, music, and certain books, oh and don’t forget the neighborhood kids and maybe even a few homeschooling friends as well {gasp}.

So how do we prevent this disconnect and continue to be our children’s number one influence? Well obviously it starts with spending more than 38 minutes a week with our children. It’s about being intentional in most every interaction with our kids. It’s letting them know what and why we believe what we do- every opportunity we get. Being accessible to them and sincere in our words.

In hoping to be more accountable and intentional in our family time I pulled together a list of things that we can do as a family, maybe it can give you a few ideas too.

 

Pray together, pray for family needs, fears, friends, missionaries, give praise reports

Eat a meal together, any meal.

Play card and board games

Build something, Legos, Lincoln logs, blocks, boxes, etc.

Have date nights with each child separately. Dads show your girls how they should be treated on a date, moms do the same with your boys.

Read a good chapter book together– one that will make you laugh and cry and allow for great discussion

Bake something, or prepare a meal together

Serve together. There are so many small things you can do together. Take a meal to someone who needs it, babysit for a couple who needs time alone, clean a sick friends house, serve at a soup kitchen, mow a yard for a neighbor etc.

Have a picnic at a park

Go Camping, or camp out in your living room

Snuggle with your child at bedtime, they will tell you all kinds of things as you lay there together.

Turn off the music, or put down the phone in the car and talk! Ask open ended questions. Ask what if… questions.

Color together or do any art project together.

Do a science project together, build a volcano, grow crystals, watch tadpoles, etc.

Go for a drive…just get in the car and go someplace new.

Go for a hike

Go for a bike ride together

Look through picture albums or watch home videos

Learn something new together, an instrument, how to draw, sew, cook, a sport, sign language, etc.

Begin a new hobby together, scrapbooking, bird watching, rock climbing, etc.

Put a puzzle together

I’m sure there are as many more ideas as there are people to do them, but the goal is to spend time together and make memories, to be the ones that our children want to spend time with.

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One Response

  1. Wow! Insightful and inspiring! We love you so much and cherish the times we get to spend with you all!

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